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Anatomy of mole external genitalia: Setting the record straight.

  • Author(s): Sinclair, Adriane Watkins
  • Glickman, Stephen E
  • Baskin, Laurence
  • Cunha, Gerald R
  • et al.

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Anatomy of male and female external genitalia of adult mice (Mus musculus) and broad-footed moles (Scapanus latimanus) was re-examined to provide more meaningful anatomical terminology. In the past the perineal appendage of male broad-footed moles has been called the penis, while the female perineal appendage has been given several terms (e.g. clitoris, penile clitoris, peniform clitoris and others). Histological examination demonstrates that perineal appendages of male and female broad-footed moles are the prepuce, which in both sexes are covered externally with a hair-bearing epidermis and lacks erectile bodies. The inner preputial epithelium is non-hair-bearing and defines the preputial space in both sexes. The penis of broad-footed moles lies deep within the preputial space, is an "internal organ" in the resting state and contains the penile urethra, os penis, and erectile bodies. The clitoris of broad-footed moles is defined by a U-shaped clitoral epithelial lamina. Residing within clitoral stroma encompassed by the clitoral epithelial lamina is the corpus cavernosum, blood-filled spaces and the urethra. External genitalia of male and female mice are anatomically similar to that of broad-footed moles with the exception that in female mice the clitoris contains a small os clitoridis and lacks defined erectile bodies, while male mice have an os penis and a prominent distal cartilaginous structure within the male urogenital mating protuberance (MUMP). Clitori of female broad-footed moles lack an os clitoridis but contain defined erectile bodies, while male moles have an os penis similar to the mouse but lack the distal cartilaginous structure.

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